Differentiated reading instruction: An effective model for the middle grades

Strategic grouping can transform reading instruction in the middle grades from a hit-or-miss learning experience to a targeted, responsive one. This book features a practical and field-tested model for small-group differentiated reading instruction in Grades 4–8. Jennifer Berne and Sophie C. Degener offer a clear, detailed discussion of how to position this instruction inside middle school language arts or reading classrooms and simple, effective strategies for classroom management, groupings, and assessment. The authors explain how to

Balance brief strategic reading lessons with whole-class work; Structure and guide reading groups consistently; Assess students before and during reading groups; Cue students and gauge understanding as they read

Differentiating instruction is not the flavor of the month in education; rather, it is the essential orientation for maximizing student success. Strategic Reading Groups gives teachers the tools they need to differentiate reading instruction in the critical middle years, as students begin to read more complex, content-filled narrative and informative texts.

Assessment Prior to and During Strategic Reading Groups

Assessment prior to and during strategic reading groups

One of the things that teachers often say to us is how challenging it is to accurately assess students prior to beginning small group reading instruction. Teachers are concerned about getting assessment “just right.” They worry that they will place students in the wrong group, or that a child who reads very fluently will have comprehension issues that they won't be able to catch. We are sympathetic to these concerns, but we honestly believe that teachers need to relax a bit when it comes to determining the just-right reading group for their students.

One of the great things about strategic reading groups is the level of flexibility teachers have in re-forming ...

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